The Nigerian Building and Road Research Institute (NBRRI) has launched an investigation into the Asaba 7-storey building that collapsed while still under construction, in Asaba, the Delta State capital, leaving about eight persons with various degrees of injury.
Addressing journalists on Friday October 6th 2023, in Asaba, Chairman of the panel, Engr. Prof. Akaolisa Celestine Ezeagu, disclosed that NBRRI set up the investigative committee, comprising professionals with specific terms of reference to ascertain the immediate and remote causes of the collapse.
Prof. Ezeagu, was flanked by other members of the Committee, including Builder Kingsley E. Oghoro, Arch. Dr. Ikenna Michael Onuarah, Engr. Amirah Chidebere Afamefuna, Arch. Okolo Leonard Ofonedum, in charge of South East Zonal office, and Builder Wan Igwe Daniel, Secretary of the Committee.
According to him, the building collapse team from the institute’s office, Abuja, has already visited the site for a preliminary assessment and would soon go into full scale investigation.
He clarified that the assignment was neither a probe nor an investigation of persons or organisations but an established practice designed to provide a ‘case-history’ based technical report enshrined in scientific and engineering principles to provide new knowledge and information to forestall future occurrence.
“The core mandate is to carry out a comprehensive and forensic investigation into the remote cause of the collapse section of the building and forestall future occurrence because the collapse may have affected other parts of the building due to the vibration”.
He revealed that the body swung into action due to public outcry, resulting from the massive collapse which according to him is detrimental and colossal if the building would have been completed.
“We do not enforce, we give recommendations and advise engineers, contractors, clients and government base on our findings to forestall future occurrences of collapse critical infrastructure.
“It is on the public outcry that a collapsed 7-storey building on Inter-bua, that this body was sent to come and find out what caused the collapse and make recommendations”.
He further disclosed that the Panel’s deployment to Asaba, was approved by the Director General (DG), of NBRRI, Prof. Samson Duna.
“Upon receiving the approval of the DG, Prof. Samson Duna, our committee moved into Asaba on Tuesday 3rd October 2023.
“We have done some consultations with the approval agencies, the Ministry of Urban Renewal, Delta State who approved the construction, ministry of housing Delta State, who is supposed to be the supervisory ministry and also done a scientific prima facie assessment of the collapse section of the building and equally have a prima facie survey of the whole structure”.
While thanking the State government for the support the Committee has received so far, Engr. Ezeagu, called on the state government to grant them full access to the building for a full scale investigation.
“We want to thank the State government for the preliminary access they have rendered to our team while urging them to grant us full access to the site to round off our investigation.
According to him, the team applied to the ministry for access to the building, approval was being delayed apparently for civil service bureaucracy.
“Now, we want to go into full scale investigation, which must be documented. We have applied and waiting for approval. We learnt that the commissioner is out of the state for official assignment. Hopefully by next week, we will get the documented approval.
“It is our believe that our expert reviews and findings as a research institute with that core mandate of carrying out research on critical infrastructure, in this case, the hospital industry, will help both the State government, the client and all agencies concerned to forestall future occurrences not only on this projects but in other subsequent projects”.
It would be recall that a 7-storey hotel building under construction collapsed in Asaba, the Delta State capital.
According to an eyewitness, the incident has left about eight persons injured.
The multi-billion naira hotel building located directly opposite Delta Mall, ShopRite, collapsed on Thursday evening, September 2023.
The building is owned by billionaire businessman and founder of RainOil Group, Chief Gabriel Ogbechie.